NOT PLAYIN’ WITH A FULL DECK?
You’ve probably heard it said of someone who makes a lot of bad decisions, or has some crazy beliefs, or who has very little common sense: “He/she isn’t playing with a full deck.” And, if you are in the South, it was probably followed by “bless his/her heart!”
Truth is, none of us start out with a full deck, spiritually speaking. In fact, God was well aware that He was creating us to be incomplete, not all there, a few nuggets short of a Happy Meal. He created us missing a piece that we need to live complete lives and He bids us to come and receive that piece directly from Him.
That piece is the Holy Spirit. Let me state something clearly and emphatically: Holy Spirit is not the third part of a Trinity. It is the essence of God.
The “spirit in man” – that part of us that separates us from mere animals and makes us human – yearns for something it knows is missing. People try to fill that space with all sorts of other things – success, money, a mate, children, etc. But the only thing the truly fills the empty space God left in us and makes us whole is the Holy Spirit. That is because the Holy Spirit is a little bit of God in us. It is His DNA infused into us, making us His children. Romans 8:15 “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by (it) we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’" It is the down payment on our future of being fully Spirit beings as God and Jesus and the angels are spirit beings.
Jesus called the Holy Spirit “the Comforter” and promised the disciples that He would send it after He returned to the Father.
The Greek word translated “Comforter” in John 14:16, 26; 15:26 and 16:7 in the King James Version can mean one of three things and there are scriptures to support the work of the Holy Spirit in each potential meaning.
- One who pleads for another, intercessor. Romans 8:26 says, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” When we don’t even know what to say to God, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us. Not only that, the Holy Spirit does a much better job than we could, as verse 27 tells us, “because the Spirit intercedes for God's people in accordance with the will of God.” The Holy Spirit is always going to plead for us in accordance with God’s will.
- Summoned, called to one’s aide.
- Helper, succorer, aide.
Struggling to obey what you know you should do? The Holy Spirit can be your help/aide. Philippians 2:13 says, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.” The Holy Spirit (God in us) gives us the want to and the ability to do God’s work/pleasure/will in our lives.
Feeling forgetful? There is help available through the Holy Spirit. Check out John 14:16 (NIV) “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
The gifts that we have for service of the church and the world come to us by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. See 1 Corinthians 12, beginning in verse 4.
Finally, 1Corinthians 2:9-16 goes in to great detail about what the Holy Spirit provides that we cannot have without it. “9 However, as it is written: "What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived"-- the things God has prepared for those who love him-- 10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person's thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for, "Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.”
This passage outlines so many of the “missing cards” in our minds and lives that can be added by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, we cannot understand the plan of God. With it, we can. Without the Holy Spirit we don’t have the right words for teaching. With it, we can. Without the Holy Spirit, we have only human minds. With the Holy Spirit, we have the mind of Christ.
Praise God that He sent us the Holy Spirit, our Comforter, Aide, Intercessor and so much more, on Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). Without it, we simply aren’t playing with a full deck when it comes to our Christian walk. Bless our hearts.
I’d love to hear your thoughts too. You can write me at Nancy@DynamicChristianMinistries.org
About this N.E.W. Church Lady – She is just an average middle aged woman who has been a believer and church attender all her life. She is married with three grown children. She lives in a small town and works in sales. Her hobbies are fitness, reading, cooking, writing and travel.